In honor of our 75th anniversary, students throughout the district have undertaken the challenge of completing 75 acts of kindness before the 75th day of school. Students and faculty have been provided with a calendar full of suggested acts for each day of this challenge. These suggestions have inspired our school community to take charge in completing one act per day, with one class seeking innovative ways to exceed expectations.
Saddlewood teacher, Skylar Pizzo, has implemented an ingenious strategy to get students excited about being kind while going above and beyond the parameters of one act per day. By tallying students’ good deeds and equating a sufficient amount of tallies to one doughnut sticker, Skylar has started a ‘doughnut jar’ in her classroom. Once filled, mystery prizes will be awarded to the class. These eager Saddlewood superstars have already filled up their doughnut jar once, revealing their first surprise to be a casual Friday like no other—pajama day!
The concept for the jar originated from Pizzo’s desire to create a more flexible approach within her classroom regarding what qualifies as an act of kindness. Various actions, such as offering help, listening to instructions, befriending a new classmate during recess, demonstrating their best effort, and receiving acknowledgment from both peers and teachers, are all instances that can be counted. Pizzo explains, “This gives us a chance to see not only what we have accomplished in our day so far, but also leaves room for discussions about what else we can do to spread more kindness tomorrow.”
Giving students the opportunity to reflect on the actions they take throughout the day by offering a space to self govern—and strive for personal growth—Skylar leads by example encouraging her students to always do their best. These efforts have fostered a sense of pride and community within this Saddlewood class, as students work together to make South Colonie kinder, one doughnut at a time.